Surveillance, Warfare, Protest
May 19–September 16, 2018
Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance, Protest addresses questions of visibility and verticality are intrinsic to drone technology and its meanings for artistic and political praxis.
The exhibition is based on the two-year research project Drone Vision. Surveillance, Warfare, Protest – a collaborative initiative of Valand Academy, Gothenburg University and the Hasselblad Foundation. Led by Dr. Sarah Tuck the research project explores the affective meanings of drone technologies on photography and human rights.
For the exhibition at the Hasselblad Center the commissioned artists Ignacio Acosta, Mhairi Sutherland and Behjat Omer Abdulla have produced new works that respond to the visual and material consequences of drone technologies in the context of Sweden.
In the film installation Litte ja Goabddá [Drones and Drums] and photo series Giesse [Summer] Ignacio Acosta addresses the uses of drones by the Sami as an indigenous perspective and resistance to the mining exploration at Gállak in Jokkmokk. Based on research visits and close collaboration with activists and Sami families living and working in the area threatened by the mines, the project explores the link between drums and drones as navigation and communication tools.
Ignacio Acosta is a Chilean-born, London-based artist and researcher working with photography and exploring geopolitical power dynamics in minerals, geographies and historical narratives.
In the video Escalate and cyanotypes Topographical Evidence Mhairi Sutherland examines the political economy of arms production and the military air power embedded in Linköping, the headquarters of Saab aeronautics. Saab is a significant player in the contemporary global arms trade with aircraft and drones like the Gripen fighter jet, UMS Skeldar, and the UAVs Neuron, Eagle, Owl and Falcon.
Mhairi Sutherland is a visual artist and curator based in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, working in photography, video, drawing and site-specific installation.
Behjat Omer Abdulla
In It’s Your Turn Doctor, 2018 Behjat Omer Abdulla invites audiences to listen to a resident of the asylum center, Restad Gård giving a first person account of events in Daraa, Syria including an aerial bombing. The accompanying drawings Daraa Shelling I–III are based on stills from youtube footage from the bombing rescue of the first person witness.
Behjat Omer Abdulla is a mixed media artist, born in Kurdistan/Iraq. He lived in the UK from 1999 to 2013 and now lives and works in Sweden.
The exhibition at the Hasselblad Center is curated by Sarah Tuck and Louise Wolthers.
Gothenburg, Nicosia, Lahore
The exhibition at the Hasselblad Center is part of an exhibition triptych with the partner galleries NiMAC (the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre associated with the Perides Foundation) in Nicosia, Cyprus and the Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery, National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan.
NiMAC, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre presents the work of artists Efi Savvides, Stelios Kallinikou and Ran Slavin, curated by Yiannis Toumazis. Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery, National College of Arts in Lahore presents the artists Wajahat Khilji, Salman Khan, Hammad Gillani and Sajid Khan curated by Imran Qureshi and coordinated by Imran Ahmad.
Bringing the cities Gothenburg, Nicosia and Lahore together through shared photo-based research is an endeavor to make apparent the differential meanings of visibility, of vulnerability and resistance. The triptych of exhibitions is an effort to produce a “geography of thinking” about drones shaped in part by the political and ethical implications of the asymmetry of seeing and not being seen, the proximity and physical distance to drone warfare and the political contexts of Sweden, Pakistan and Cyprus.
Each exhibition presents an installation of the view from above permitted by the authorities of the cities Gothenburg, Lahore and Nicosia by artist Vicky Pericleous. The exhibitions are, furthermore, connected by the audio recordings of three international roundtables hosted in Gothenburg in 2017 and made available in all three venues.